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Cloud & Gun 2018


Sunday 14th January 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015.

After my late night getting home from a gig, I only awoke at 11am. Almost immediately, Marianne advised me that I wasn’t going out, because we were all going out for a walk and lunch at midday. I said I’d be back by then, and that everyone wouldn’t be ready by then anyway. Maz was not best impressed, but I went for my daily activation anyway.

Enjoyable walk, as ever, and plenty of people on the hill, as ever. Called on 2m FM on the VX7, as ever, and got four contacts, as ever.

The pattern of four QSOs I get is getting familiar too:

  1. A S2S.
  2. Someone else.
  3. A couple who are both licensed!

In this case, the S2S was Adrian G4AZS/P p on Brown Clee Hill G/WB-002, the ‘someone else’ was G4NTY, and the couple, on this occasion, was not King and Queen of Heald Green, but the Prince and Princess of Rhos - Steven 2W0JYN and Steph MW6SHJ.

Back home at 1203z (which Marianne classified as “late”) and out for a lovely walk around the full perimeter of Fernilee reservoir in the High Peak. Followed by a great meal with great beer at the Beehive in Combs. £17.50 for three courses - generous portions too :smile:

I will now add the photos to the Billinge Hill report above ^^^^^


My activation of Bosley Cloud G/SP-015 on Monday 15th January 2018 did not fit the above pattern. Richard G3CWI jumped in ahead of schedule to claim the “somebody else” slot, and I can only assume this disruption put off any potential S2S or married/cohabiting licensed couples.

Meanwhile, Liam remained in the car on Cloudside, monitoring all the action on the mobile rig.

Time running out today to keep the run going - watch this space for some late-night SOTA tonight!


Patterns in random data occur more frequently than people expect.


Indeed. Marcus du Sautoy’s book “The Music of the Primes” explores this very phenomenon.

Local VHF chasers - please monitor S20 from around 2330 / 2345 to after midnight UTC tonight.


Tuesday 16th January 2018 - G/SP-015

2348 to 2359 UTC - 2m FM - 4 QSOs:


Wx: cold (subzero), windy (windchill), dry

Wednesday 17th January 2018 - G/SP-015

0002 to 0018 UTC - 2m FM - 8 QSOs:


Wx: even colder, snow starting during last contact.

Great fun. So glad I heaved myself out of the house at 2245z and made myself do it. Now home for a hot drink, a single malt, a bit of supper then some serious grufelling.


Heard you call cq on S20 this afternoon Tom (Thursday) but then your signal dropped to unreadable & was lost in the noise, which was odd as your usually full scale to me from the cloud, not sure what happened but didn’t hear you make any further calls.



I fear I’ve got an intermittent in the helical antenna Neil. It is cutting out with a bit of movement. I’ll try it with another antenna to make sure it’s that and not the connection point on the rig itself, and get a replacement.

Three contacts worked today - Thursday 18th January 2018 - on 2m FM from The Cloud G/SP-015. I was carrying the rucksack with all the kit and intending activating on 40m. However, on arrival on summit, I saw a quickly advancing wall of dark grey with the feet of a rainbow sticking out each end, and I copped out and reached for the VX7.

As it was, the heavy shower missed me by about three fields, or about 300 yards, but it looked like there were more following in behind it.


If you decide it’s the antenna and need to buy a new one then don’t muck about but simply ring Yaesu UK and order the genuine item. I spent some time after I lost my VX170 rubber duck looking at replacements on ebay and elsewhere. I never thought about Yaesu because I expected to get a severe wallet lightening session. Finally I rang them and couldn’t believe how cheap the real thing was. It was under £10 inc p&p and taxes for the genuine thing. Ordered by credit card mid-afternoon, arrived in the post next morning. Brilliant service from Yaesu.


That’s exactly what I’d do anyway Andy, but thanks for the advice. The old one is holding up so long as I don’t touch it - about to be pressed into service again.


Well, I’m afraid I was a wimp again on Friday 19th January 2018. Again, I’d intended and alerted for HF, but again the cold wind greeted me in the activation zone, and my thoughts turned very quickly to my 2m HT.

The Cloud G/SP-015 - 5 QSOs
Gun G/SP-013 - 3 QSOs

Cold enough to hurt the hands, but not enough to freeze the ground - so the feet copped for it as well :frowning:


Hi Tom,
After having seen your spot for 2m FM, I came to the shack and waited for you to show up on 40m. I see now this is not goig to happen… today! :wink:
No worries. Have a great evening.



That’s now 56 consecutive days of SOTA activating, 84 activations in the last 77 days. This is set to continue for a while yet… :open_mouth:


Sunday 21st January 2018

Tired and fed-up, I was not inspired to head out by the gloomy cold wet weather. Around 5pm I finally extracted my reluctant body from the sofa and the snooker on TV.

I was in QSO with G3CWI throughout the car journey, and for all the ascent. Richard was then the first of six QSOs on summit, a 500% improvement on the previous day’s (almost) radio silence.

The descent was tricky on very slippery ice, so I was pleased to be back at the car. It probably took twice as long as usual to get down.

The next few days are very busy with work, so it will be challenging to incorporate SOTA activations. I will try though!


Monday 22nd January 2018

Managed to squeeze in a Cloud activation, between A Level maths supply teaching at a design & engineering college in Crewe, and some private maths tutoring in Macclesfield.

Stupidly, I forgot to take a different helical antenna out with me to try and help locate the intermittent issue on mine - and it played up again.

Tomorrow, I’ll do it, I promise.

2m FM - 2 contacts.


OK, so I just checked it out now with another antenna. Sadly it looks like the issue is with the connection into the rig, and not with the helical antenna.



Tuesday 23rd January 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

I was going to go HF this time, at last for 2018, but I copped out yet again and wandered up to the summit with just the VX7. The antenna gave me no issues this time - but that is the nature of an intermittent fault!

Anyway, a most regal flavour to the activation, with appearances in the log from the King and Queen of Heald Green, the Prince and Princess of Rhos, the Duke of Mold and the Earl of Weston Park.

Same time tomorrow then?


Can’t seem to self-spot atm. I’m sure it’ll be one of these occasional niggles that sorts itself out in the fullness of time.

Anyway, I’m off for a walk up G/SP-015 with me HT if any local chasers are monitoring. QRV around 4.12pm.


Wednesday 24th January 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

2m FM - 3 contacts.

Tomorrow’s likely to be an early one - 0730-ish.


Or even earlier as it turned out.

Thursday 25th January 2018 - Gun G/SP-013

0709 UTC - 145.400MHz - 2E0MVK/M

I did a bit of “kite flying” on the way - calling on S20 from the mobile. This resulted in a QSO with Arthur G0OHY who I hoped would work me once I called from the summit.

Either he switched off or he couldn’t hear me though. Fortunately I did get a good QSO with Mark however.


Friday 26th January 2018 - Gun G/SP-013

Another single QSO activation. I’d better not be making a habit of these, I’ll be getting a reputation…

I was beyond tired, and an activation was not what I fancied. However, I also did not fancy breaking my routine of doing (at least) one SOTA activation every day!

So despite my recent work pattern of:

Wednesday day - teaching
Wednesday night - gig (bed at 0130)
Thursday day - teaching (up at 0600, and an activation on the way…)
Thursday night - gig (bed at 0200)
Friday day - teaching (up at 0655)
Friday 4pm - staff football match ('EYP on the scoresheet)

…I did an activation of Gun on the way home! I’d been in QSO with M0RCC while driving up the hill to the parking spot, but he couldn’t hear me well enough to work once I was at the summit with my HT. I began to worry about the fault on my VX7 and wondered if it would cost me the activation - or at least force me to return to my car to collect some better gear (FT-817, HF antenna etc).

Just then, a loud and clear call-in from Rob 2E0DDD in Werrington, so that saved the activation. Several further calls producing no further logs though - so just the one it had to be.